MANHATTAN, KANSAS, U.S. — AIB International on Sept. 23 issued a statement saying that while it conducted its GMP inspection in three of six in-shell egg grading/sorting facilities owned by Wright County Egg Co., Clarion, Iowa, U.S., it was not contracted to and did not inspect the other areas of the company’s operations, including the feed milling operation, feed handling operation, hen laying barns or egg breaking facilities. The latter operations are the focus of both Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and congressional hearings following a Salmonella enteriditis outbreak in August.

The AIB inspections took place between 2007 and 2010.

"Inspection results over this period in the three grading/sorting operations include observations that range from unsatisfactory, serious, needs improvement, to minor issues in the area of personnel practices, maintenance and integrated pest management," the AIB said, adding that internal reviews of inspection reports established that Wright County met the requirements of the AIB International 2008 Consolidated Standards for Inspection.

As part of the inspection, the AIB said its auditor queried the Wright County Egg operators about the environmental microbiology and finished product tests and confirmed that they were compliant with current U.S. Department of Agriculture regulations.

The FDA inspected six egg-laying farms/plants owned by Wright County Egg from Aug. 12-30. They found about eight frogs living under one egg-laying house. Other findings included wild birds flying inside houses, pigeons roosting in an air vent, birds’ nests, unsealed holes appearing to be rodent burrows, live mice, "live and dead flies too numerous to count" and "live and dead maggots too numerous to count." Live flies were on and around egg belts, feed, shell eggs and walkways. Live and dead maggots were observed in a manure pit.

Chicken manure in the manure pits below egg-laying operations was observed to be about 4 feet to 8 feet high in some locations.

Wright County Egg, according to the FDA, failed to take to steps to ensure there was no introduction or transfer of Salmonella enteritidis. The FDA listed examples such as one entry doorway to access egg-laying areas located on every other house; workers not wearing or changing protective clothing when moving from house to house; un-caged birds tracking manure into egg-laying areas; and excessive amounts of manure in the manure pits blocking an entrance door.